Aug 212011

It’s Cook a Pot of Curry day today.
(If you have no idea what i’m talking about, click here)

When i first got to know about the incident, like you, you and you, i was rather furious. You all know how much i love my spices and curry. So if i’m asked to cook my curries with my windows closed and only during a certain time frames, you can be very sure that the next thing i’d do is, set up a portable stove right in front of my main door on one very windy day and cook my curry there and then.

Then i thought about it.

There’s really nothing much to be furious about actually. Probably just a teeny weeny bit but that’s about it. Each and every one of us is special. We have our own level of tolerance towards certain things. Sure, complaining to the authority takes the cake, but can you imagine if your neighbour cooks the famous smelly tofu everyday? *faints* To us who have been staying in this part of the world, we are used to the smell of curries and spices. They however, are not. And of course, bad apples are everywhere but so are good apples.  More importantly, the 2 families can live with the outcome for more than 7 years so yay to them!

Today, instead of cooking a pot of curry, i’m gonna dedicate this simple and easy but very delicious pilaf post to my good Indian neighbour whom i’ve already missed. They have just relocated to UAE 2 days ago after living here for close to 2 years. Seema, my ever so helpful neighbour had no qualms spending her precious time teaching me all about biryani when i needed her help for this Guest Post of mine.

No eggs? Swing by the neighbour to borrow a couple.

No paprika? No problem. Hop over with an empty spoon in hand.

Not too long after that, she got me this gorgeous Masala Dabba which she lugged back from India during one of her many trips. And not to mention, surprise goodies from time to time… and always when i was famished. Grin. I swear she can sense when i have growling stomach! Oh, and that little daughter in law of mine, Dia.. I’ll so miss her manja voice. She misses boy2 pretty often so it’s always, *ding*dong* Liammmmm, Liammmmmm… do you want to come out and play? *ding*dong*


Her one true love, we often teased her and she would actually smile bashfully in response!


Good neighbours are hard to come by, aren’t they? Though it was just a short 2 years, i’m grateful. Better 2 years than none, aye? Thank you Seema, and your wonderful family, for everything. You will be missed dearly.

Salmon & Prawn Pilaf

Serves 4

250g basmati rice, washed well
small piece fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
5 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 cardamon pods
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
10-12 large prawns, peeled
10-12 pieces of sliced salmon
10 hard boiled quail eggs, optional


1. Cook the rice according to pack instructions, then set aside. Put the ginger, garlic and tomatoes into a food processor, blend to make a paste, then set aside until you’re ready to cook.
2. Sautee the sliced salmon using high heat, just for a couple of seconds to ensure that the fish isn’t entirely cooked.
3. Heat the oil in a large non stick pan and add the whole spices. Once they sizzle, add the onion, frying over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the ground spices and paste, then cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce has released the oil back into the pan. Add the prawns, then cooked for a few minutes before adding in the salmon and quail eggs – the mixture should be quite dry and paste like.
4. Stir the cooked rice into the pan to coat it well in the spices. Make sure the rice is heated through. Serve immediately.

(recipe adapted from GoodFood’s Prawn and Sweetened Coconut Pilaf)


Happy cooking your pot of curry everyone!

  110 Responses to “For the good neighbour : Salmon & Prawn Pilaf”

  1. Gorgeous Dish and what a great neigbhour you have. You are lucky pal. I also miss our ex Indian Neighbour for their friendliness, kind and delicious curry and biryani that they always share with us.

  2. Wow, yummy. I don’t think I can get this even at a restaurant. Can I be your neighbour?

  3. I’m really envious of you, to have such a great neighbor, it’s hard to have such ties now. I remember when I was a kid and we had such stuff at my housing estate. Now, I would be happy if my neighbors didn’t steal my parking space to park their cars. Nobody even knows anyone on a first name basis!

  4. ellena : i am indeed. :)

    umasou : *smile* anytime! need my addy? :P

    jacob : that’s pretty sad isn’t it? where did the kampung spirit go? :(

    in this block of mine, i think i’m probably the only one who goes around distributing my food. haha! with a smile and food in hand, it’s not hard to break down that initial ice wall. friendliness begets friendliness. with that, all (almost) my neighbour became good neighbour already! :D

    but yes, i still have to thank my lucky stars for being oh so kind to bless me with mostly nice and kind ones because not everyone will reciprocate.

  5. yummy! i would opt for this over curry! looks simply divine.
    *two thumbs up*!

  6. Aww you’ve gotta love a friendly neighbour. When I lived in an apartment complex before buying the house we’re in I found the other residents withdrawn and very private. Nobody really said hello to oneanother. Inner city life in Sydney, I guess.
    Now we live next to friendly people that we occasionally invite around for drinks and food or even just chat over the back fence.
    I’d gladly give you a spoon of paprika! Hell, you can even come and use my fabulous new kitchen to cook in! Just bring the wine!

  7. Hmmm…I have read about that incident…I am lucky to have a good neighbour who doesn’t mind dog sitting for me whenever I need:D and we do exchange some food every now and then:D I don’t mind getting a pot of that pilaf too:D

  8. celest : thank you!

    john : YES! your fabulous new kitchen! pictures please! :)

    jeannie : dog sitting! hey, that’s even more awesome. It shows how tight you guys are ;)

  9. Ok … can I move next door? now that the place is ‘empty’? I’ll gladly give you any spice or gula or whatever you need … as long as I can have a pot of yummy food too ;P

    Nice pilaf and I luurrrrve that pot :D

  10. I cannot live without curry lah…..curry lovers unite! Beautiful and delicious dish you have. I am hungry.

  11. That looks delicious! Yumm Thanks!

  12. Love all the spices and flavors in this pilaf. Looks like a paella. The egg is fun!

  13. lisa : aiyah, tak cakap awal! now got new tenant already. :P

    tigerfish + jess + marla : thank you! :)

  14. Wow that looks so yummy!! Looks like a delicious take on paella!

  15. I love Salmon, oo I love Prawn… and oh my i love pilaf! Can’t….resist…..

  16. If you were my neighbor, I will come by with an empty spoon to get a taste of your yummy pilaf :)

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  21. I love your blog and your recipes! I’ve been maikng at least one of your recipes every week for the last couple of months! I’m thinking about maikng this next week but I’m a bit wary of the garlic chili paste. I’ve never used it before and only like a little “heat.” I do have some Turkish red pepper paste on hand and can handle that spice level – do you think the red pepper paste could serve as a substitute?

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